Washoe Early Vote Finally Posts with Democrats Casting 36 More Ballots

Interesting day in Washoe with the two parties casting almost identical numbers of ballots, Democrats 3431 versus Republicans 3396. For trend watchers this may be disappointing but a Republican turnout at 99% of the Democrat vote is better than any day in 2008. While we would hope for a straight line of continually increasing Republican gains, the reality is it will be an up and down affair (must resist Kate Upton reference) throughout the early voting. Democrats are fairly stable with their turnout while Republicans peaked on Tuesday and have steadily fallen back towards the Democrat’s level. The key will be whether this downward slope is a trend or an aberration. The aggregate ballot lead for Democrats stands at 1019, down from 7161 at the same point in 2008. Similar to what we are seeing in Clark County, the Independent/Other category remains on a slow but steady upward march. This group could be the key in the election if Romney is seeing near the double-digit leads he is enjoying in national polls and some state polling.

The Washoe model

We waited a day to make changes to our assumptions and that was the right call. With the relatively flat day-over-day result the 2012 rate of growth between the Republican turn out and Democrats is 4.1%, higher than our initial estimate of 3.85% that we’ve been using but well off the 7.1% as of yesterday. At the same time the steady Democrat turnout confirms the overestimation of Democrat enthusiasm this cycle so we are adjusting the expected Dem turnout to 3358 from 3985 until the expected ramp-up turnout starting next week. We are modeling the ramp-up as the turnout % relative to the day 1 result but it may be wiser to estimate week two turnout as a percent of the prior week’s average turnout. We’ll think about that over the weekend after we get Friday’s results and tweak accordingly. As it stands with a new growth rate in GOP turnout of 4.1% relative to the Democrats turnout, Republicans would have a final early vote lead in ballots cast of 5793. This compares with a 11,978 ballot advantage Democrats enjoyed heading into election day in 2008.

Finally away from Washoe, I have one hell of a source regarding Clark County early voting:

Just wanted to update you on Clark’s numbers. We should start seeing movement towards [the GOP] next week. The thing the press doesn’t pick up on is that most of the early vote locations are mobile so they move from supermarket to supermarket, community center to community center for a 1,2 or 3 day period. Starting today and next week we start getting locations in our strong areas so the results should narrow.

Something to keep an eye on going forward.

Did I just bury the lede?


  1. Brad
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I still think we can assume that NV will remain safely in Os column by a few points.

    • zang
      Posted October 26, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I am pessimistic about NV as well. Whereas states like OH and WI have polls which are all over the map, NV seems to be converging on a consensus of about 2-3 points for 0.

      • Brad
        Posted October 26, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

        I really think OR is going to be in play too. OR is a pragmatic state D leaning, unlike WA and CA, and the early vote only has R -35k with about 14% in.

      • M.Remmerde
        Posted October 26, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

        Problem with Oregon is that it’s entirely vote by mail. So I doubt there is any kind of reliable early-D/late-R trend there. Everyone votes the same way. Romney would need a lot of D crossover to win OR.

    • Posted October 26, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

      McCain lost the indies by 13. If Romney wins the indies he wins NV.

  2. No Tribe
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

    National polls out already today:

    1st Tier polling:

    R+5: 51/46 – Gallup
    R+3: 50/47 – Rasmussen
    R+1: 49/48 – WaPost
    O+1: 47/48 – UPI
    O+2: 45/47- TIPP

    Internet and partisan polling:

    O+1: 46/47 – IPSOS
    TIED: 48/48 – PPP
    O+6: 45 /51 – RAND

    A 1.2% lead for Romney.

    Universal among the aggregators: RCP shows .9% Romney, HuffPo shows .5% Romney, TPM shows 1% Romney.

    Nate Silver vs the world, relying upon internet polling, shows 1.5% for Obama.

    • zang
      Posted October 26, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

      The worst of these has to be Rand. Not only is it an internet poll, it involves the same panel of people throughout the election.

      • No Tribe
        Posted October 26, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        True, I just post it there to point to what the NYT’s blogger is relying upon for his juice.

  3. novahockey
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

    nwo you’re just messing with me.

  4. zang
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

    New polls: http://www.purplestrategies.com/wp-content/uploads/October_v7.pdf

    0 up 2 in OH (46-42), tied in VA, 0 up 1 in CO.

  5. Medicine Man
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Great piece in Red State. http://www.redstate.com/2012/10/26/why-i-think-obama-is-toast/

    • Keith W
      Posted October 26, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

      That’s a great article, although some people will dismiss is bc of the site it comes from and its author’s bias. But the article is all numbers, math and historical trends…those things aren’t partisan and don’t lie.

  6. Posted October 26, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I love your site and analysis but I wish you would post statewide totals given by the Nevada Secretary of State each day as the counties outside Clark and Washoe are significantly GOP and cut the statewide edge for Dems by approximately 10k. Total absentee and Early votes released today show a total statewide Dem edge of 24K with 54k in non Dem or GOP voting. Rasmussen has the early vote at 51 to 47 Obama or a statewide edge of around 13k votes with 70% yet to vote. Jon Ralston omits the statewide figures and appears to be a fact selective Dem cheerleader. Combined with your analysis for future votes these totals show Romney to be in reasonably good shape to win Nevada.

  7. stephanie
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink | Reply


    There is an article on race42012.com by Matt Coulter stating that Obama pulling staff from Florida and Romney is pulling staff out of Nevada. Is Romney really pulling out of NV?

    • Brad
      Posted October 26, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I would. Put them in WI or MN.

    • Posted October 26, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

      No. Jon Ralston who hates the GOP and is openly partisan in favor of Democrats reported that he was told by the Romney campaign the story isn’t true and he believes the Romney campaign.

      If they were considering pulling out of Nevada they would not have made Henderson, NV their first post-debate stop and ping-ponged Romney between Nevada, Colorado and back to Reno, Nevada if they were pulling up stakes 2 days later.

      It was a false story planted with Major Garrett who is a fair reporter. My guess is the Obama campaign conceded to garrett they are pulling resources from Florida but planted the seed about Romney pulling up stakes in Nevada. Because he accurately had the Obama scoop he likely ran with the Romney scoop before he should have.

      • stephanie
        Posted October 26, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        Good point. Thank you!

  8. No Tribe
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The Purple polls are blue.

    They have Ohio D+7, Colorado D+1, and Virginia D+5.

    Romney leads Independents by 2,tied, 3.

    Obama is at 47, 46, 47.

  9. JGS
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

    New CNN poll just released shows Obama +4 in Ohio, with D+3 sample — not a great poll for us, it would seem.


    • mchlgregg
      Posted October 26, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

      correct me if I’m wrong but these numbers are skewed, a little, due to the early voting numbers.

      • Evan3457
        Posted October 26, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        Quick calculation shows that the CNN poll is of the opinion that 40% of the voters who will vote in the Ohio election have already voted or will vote absentee or early.
        Last election, it was 30% total. As of yesterday, the early vote was 17% of the 2008 vote total.

    • Posted October 26, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

      thx for the PDF. was looking for that

  10. JGS
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The CNN poll also shows Obama +5 with independents, which makes me pretty suspect as this is quite inconsistent with other recent OH polls.

    In Ohio, ARG has Obama down 21 with independents, 57-36, SurveyUSA has him down 8, 47-39; TIME has him down 15, 53-38; PPP has him down 7, 49-42; CBS/Quinnipiac has him down 7, 49-42; Gravis has him down 19, 52-33.

    But CNN now magically has Obama +5 with independents?

    • Medicine Man
      Posted October 26, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Well, when all the push back is that BO is losing INdies and poof! A poll with him +5 Indies. Interesting to see if this keeps up.

    • Evan3457
      Posted October 26, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Could be the 1-in-20 bad sample, I suppose.

    • Brad
      Posted October 26, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Don’t forget that CNN’s independent sample is pretty small with a +/- 6.5%

      • Brad
        Posted October 26, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        In other words, a high MoE

  11. JGS
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    But CNN is such a fine, neutral, unbiased news organization!

  12. MikeN
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

    What was the election day total in 2008?

    • Brad
      Posted October 26, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

      D+8, O won by 5.

      • MikeN
        Posted October 27, 2012 at 12:34 am | Permalink

        So the early voting was O+15? Are there vote totals available?

  13. Posted October 26, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

    As for Nevada, nobody – and I mean absolutely nobody on either side of the race – has posted what I consider a VERY significant number. Namely, how many Mormons live in Nevada, or even better, how many Mormons of voting age live in Nevada, if such a number can be found. If the number is significant, which I suspect it is, the fact that a large number of Mormons will be voting would make any comparison to 2008 almost irrelevant. The reason I bring this up is that my common sense tells me a great majority of Mormons will be voting for Romney. So, please, somebody, anybody — how many Mormons live in Nevada? Then you you cvan go back to fashioning your charts while I will stick with my common sense.

    A big fan of Battleground Watch

  14. Keep To The Right
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Nevada Active Voters – 1,257,621 (100%)

    Clark County Active Voters – 851,803 (67.7%)
    Washoe County Active Voters – 241,459 (19.2%)
    All Other Counties Active Voters – 164,359 (13.1%)

    Early Votes & Absentee Ballots as of 11:00am 10/26/12

    Clark County – 214,375 (25.2% of Active Voters)
    Washoe County – 58,030 (24.0% of Active Voters)
    All Other Counties – 44,510 (27.1% of Active Voters)

    Early Votes & Absentee Ballots Breakdown By Party

    Clark County Total – 214,375 (D – 106,467 – 49.7%) (R – 70,353 – 32.8%) (I – 37,555 – 17.5%)
    Washoe County Total – 58,030 (D – 24,612 – 42.4%) R – 23,875 – 41.1%) (I – 9,543 – 16.4%)
    All Other Counties Total – 44,510 (D – 13,247 – 29.8%) (R – 23,886 – 53.7%) (I – 7,377 – 16.6%)

    Early Votes & Absentee Ballots Totals – 316,915 (25.2% Of Statewide Active Voters)

    Democrats – 144,326 (45.5%)
    Republicans – 118,114 (37.3%)
    Independent/Other – 54,475 (17.2%)


    Democrats with 26,212 vote lead as of 11:00am 10/26/12
    Head to head (not including Independent/Other votes) – D – 55.0% / R – 45.0%

    2008 Vote Totals – 970,019 – If that is the rough vote total in 2012 then we’re
    actually at about a third of the total vote right now with 316,915 votes currently.

    If Independents/Others break 55%/45% for Romney then a rough estimate
    would be R – 90,000 / D – 73,000

    Therefore, if nothing else changes in the current voting patterns & the election
    day results mimic the early voting results, then you’re looking at a win for the
    Democrats by 60,000+/- (53%/47%).

    Granted, lots of assumptions & guesswork in the above estimate, but we need
    some voting patterns to change, especially on election day & for the
    Early Votes/Absentee Ballots trend to start heading towards Republicans fairly
    soon, if we are going to win these 6 Electoral Votes for Mitt Romney.

    Source For Vote Totals: Nevada Secretary of State

  15. Posted October 26, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Here is my take: from a neutral vantage point in Spain. So far as I can see Obama beat Mc Cain by 22.8 % in early voting 4 years ago. He ended up winning the contest by 12.5%, so he underperformed his early vote on polling day by 15% or so by actually winning by about 7.5 of the polling day turnout. Now, I admit this is a different contest but if you give Romney a 10% lead among indies the Democrats have ONLY a 20765 lead from 316915 votes cast or 6.55%. I hope you can see where I am headed with this!! If, on the day, there is a 10% swing around to Romney to reflect a bit what happened 4 years ago, you would have the R´s picking up a 3.45% lead on 636000 voters or 21942 giving Romney a win of a thousand votes or so. Against my numbers are a few things- it´s hard to gauge exactly what the turnout will be plus I can´t guarantee the underperformance will be 10% etc but even so and given what we are seeing in other polls plus keenness to vote etc I would be hopeful that Romney can swing this

    • Keep To The Right
      Posted October 26, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Gerard, I agree with your overall point. What I was trying to do, is get all the numbers down after the 1st week of early voting so we can see where we stand. Harry Reid has built a Chicago-like voting machine in Nevada over the years, so you know Republicans are at a severe disadvantage right
      from the start. In addition, if these Early Votes/Absentee Votes continue at anything like the current pace, they will easily exceed 50% of the overall
      vote total, simply amazing. So the Republicans will be swimming upstream to make up the difference with potentially less than 50% of the votes cast
      on November 6th.

  16. Davidoff
    Posted October 26, 2012 at 9:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

    to follow up a previous question.. I think it would me more relevant to know how big is the “Mormon economy” in Nevada. We already know that much of the Harry Reid ground game is based on the union vote of people working in the casino industry. It is easy to estimate the turnout based of those people based on what happened last year in the Senate race. But can the Mormons not only vote for RR but convince people to vote for RR?
    Also what about the evangelicals?

  17. Posted October 27, 2012 at 10:21 am | Permalink | Reply

    Keep to the right- point taken. I thinkwe will see the distance shorten over the coming week

  18. Posted October 28, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A little bit of good news. Unless I am going blind, the Nevada secretary of state page has updated totals for the week WITHOUT including Friday returns from a few Rep leaning places. Here is the link: http://nvsos.gov/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=2501

    I did a tiny bit of arithmetic and I extrapolate that the Republican voters have cut the margin by another 800 votes or so. Ok, I am in Spain and maybe those polling places were shut as Friday is a Jewish holiday?

  19. Posted October 28, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

    sorry. Saturday is a Jewish holiday- my bad

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